Florence has a new co-working space and it’s not just desks and fast wi-fi. Zer0lab bills itself as the first co-working for sustainable fashion and startups in the circular economy, especially in the leather accessories industry.
The new space in the heart of Scandicci‘s leather production district opened during Pitti Uomo and offers regular desks and meeting spaces, as well as a complete leather accessories prototyping lab and creative desks.
Digging deeper, Zer0lab offers much more than just space. As the headquarters of ASPRI (Association for Recycled Leather in Italy), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting leather craftsmanship and circular production practices in the Italian leather industry, the lab is home to the first leather recycling center in Italy. Zer0lab founders Cassandra Kane and Gabriele Rorandelli acquire what would be expensive waste from some of Italy’s most famous fashion houses and give the materials new life, saving up to 265 tonnes of leather per year from the incinerators in Tuscany alone. Fashion students, young designers or co-workers can come here to purchase this leftover leather.
Zer0lab promotes circular design through courses and workshops, as well as offering services to co-workers, making it a one-stop shop where an emerging designer can prototype, receive training and be provided with invaluable contacts with local manufacturers able to carry out the work needed. There’s also storage for e-commerce fulfillment, exhibition space for marketing and promotion, and a product-photo studio.